Sunday, February 26, 2012

Celebrating International Polar Bear Day


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By Diane Forrest

Coca Cola has been using polar bears in their print ads since 1922; however, in 1993 a change in advertising resulted in a new star.  A computer designed what would become one of the most popular symbols of Coca-Cola advertising, the animated polar bear.  I met and married my husband 2 years after the bear's debut, and he was a big fan.  He was also employed by coke, so he had already started a collection of the bears.
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Today is International Polar Bear Day.  They are being recognized because they are the first species to become endangered because of climate change. The summer ice loss in the Arctic is now equal to an area the size of Alaska, Texas, and the state of Washington combined.
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According to NWF.org, here are some Ways to Celebrate Polar Bear Day:
  • Speak up for America's polar bears;
  • Read all about it;
  • Bake "cubcakes";
  • Adopt a polar bear;
  • Get crafty with this polar bear snow gauge;
  • Plant a tree;
  • Immerse yourself in an intimate portrayal of one polar bear's life;
  • Send an eCard; and
  • Make a donation to NWF.

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Some Facts from NWF.org about Polar Bears that you may not know:
  • The polar bear rivals the Alaska brown bear as the world’s largest land predator;
  • Polar bears are closely related to brown bears;
  • Brown and polar bears can interbreed and produce fertile young;
  • You can sometimes tell male polar bears from female by the hair on the males’ front legs;
  • Polar bear hair is transparent; the way it reflects light makes it look white. It can turn yellowish with age;
  • Polar bears are so adapted to cold that they can’t take temperatures above 50 degrees;
  • Wild polar bears probably live more than 25 years only rarely, but in captivity they have lasted up to 43 years;
  • Only females about to give birth hibernate;
  • Most land animals are too fast for the bear to catch;  
  • Polar bears prey mostly on marine mammals;
  • Although polar bears eat everything from crabs to kelp to muskoxen, they are adapted to feeding on calorie-rich blubber;
  • Found in Arctic reaches in both hemispheres, the polar bear maintains a foothold on more of its native range than any other large meat-eating animal;
  • The polar bear has been protected for many years under the Endangered Species Act in 2008; and
  • About 25,000 polar bears survive worldwide.


For more information about polar bears, click here:  http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/animals/creaturefeature/polar-bear/

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